Not even a broken wrist suffered before the event could keep Australia’s Toby Price from winning his second Dakar Rally this year.
He may have benefitted from Pablo Quintanilla’s hard fall during Thursday’s final stage of the event, the 359-kilometer combination of liaison and race stage from Pisco to Lima, but he didn’t let that define his win. Price won Stage 10, his first stage win of the event, by more than two minutes to put a definitive mark on the rally and continue KTM’s winning streak of more than a decade. Teammates Matthias Walkner, the 2018 winner, and Sam Sunderland, the 2017 winner, completed the podium, while Quintanilla fell from a minute off the lead on Wednesday night to fourth overall at the event’s end.
In the Cars, Nasser Al-Attiyah may have lost time to second place Nani Roma on Thursday, but it wasn’t nearly enough to affect the final standings. Al-Attiyah won his third Dakar by a margin of 46:42 over Roma, while Sebastien Loeb earned his second career Dakar podium in third. Defending race winner Carlos Sainz won Thursday’s stage, his only victory of a difficult event; the Mini driver finished 13th overall.
Robby Gordon’s fleet of three UTVs running in the Car class earned two podiums in the OP1 segment, with Blade Hildebrand topping the segment at 42nd overall and Gordon third in the segment at 49th overall. Despite speed limits imposed by the organizers for UTV Open vehicles running in the Car class, Gordon still would have led the Side-by-Side class in the early stages of the event before running into mechanical trouble.
Instead, it was Chaleco Lopez who actually won the Side-by-Side event after taking four stage wins overall and three in a row coming out of the rest day. Gerard Farres and 2018 winner Reinaldo Varela completed the podium; between them, they won eight of the 10 stages in the event. American Casey Currie earned Dakar top rookie honors by placing fourth in class, one of three rookies to crack the top 10 in Side-by-Side racing.
Nicolas Cavigliasso completed a nearly perfect race on Thursday with his ninth Quad stage win of a possible 10. Cavigliasso’s final margin of victory over Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli was nearly two hours. In Trucks, Eduard Nikolaev earned his third straight class win and fifth overall (fourth as a driver) by 25:36 over Kamaz teammate Dmitry Sotnikov.